The Bwari campus of the Nigerian Law School in Abuja is an easy place to fall off the health wagon. The days are long, accessibility to healthy food options can be hard and well-equipped gyms are scarce. Nonetheless, I have put together a number of tips that might help you avoid the Bwari Law School student pouch over the next year.
- A solid pair of Trainers
- Several pairs of quality-breathable cotton socks
- A really GOOD sports bra (you don’t want the twins sagging)
- A quality pair of running bottoms (beware that if you wear shorts and you live off campus, you need to pop on a pair of sweatpants or tracksuit to get past security at the campus gates, once inside you can pop them off).
- Wipes (for lavatory use)
- Hand sanitiser (You may want to sanitise your hands after a workout if you are not able to shower straight after)
If you live off campus, before arriving in Bwari we suggest that you purchase lots of whole grains and healthy protein.
You may want to consider the following:
- Ofada Rice
- A crate of Eggs
- Chicken Breast
- Frozen Prawns
- Frozen Vegetables
- Boxes of Water (you need 24-28 500ml bottles a week)
The general idea is that you take with you lots of wholesome protein and grains that you may not be able to find in the market in Bwari (if you decide to pay a visit).
If you live on campus, you’re not allowed to cook so you’re slightly restricted, however, make sure to pack some Wholemeal Cereal, Powdered Milk, boxes of water and protein snack bars.
Make friends, it will help you with your fitness journey; you can batch cook together, exercise together and stay motivated together.
If you live on campus it can be particularly helpful to make friends off campus as if you become close enough you can make and store healthy food at theirs. Friends particularly male ones, if you live off campus, can be helpful for the walk down to campus for early morning exercise whilst it is still dark.
Get to Know
Mr Eddy, he is the gym caretaker in Bwari, he manages the conventional gym by the tennis courts and the jungle gym in the heart of law school campus.
He is lovely and really quite helpful; if you’re new to it all he can break you in and if you’re a seasoned gym goer he can also help boost your productivity. It is worth speaking to him to find out gym t opening times and gym class times.
This is important as the law school in Bwari is tough, classes are long and afternoons are long, so it can be easy to procrastinate and not be productive.
Planning ahead will help you be productive not only fitness-wise, but also with your law school studies. Decide when your workout time will be daily. The sun in Bwari is scorching, which means the best times to work out are early in the morning and late afternoon when the sun has gone down, but before sunset (all sorts of insects come out at night, avoid working out when its dark).
We advise morning workouts, you burn more calories during a fasting workout, it keeps you alert through the day, it inputs structure and discipline into your life and it allows you to get exercise over and done with, so no excuses can be made later on in the day.
On Sunday afternoon/evening, buy fresh produce you may need for your meals, make and portion your meals for the week.If you live on campus, you are unable to cook however, you can manage your resources by sticking to wholemeal cereal, fresh fruit and or hard boiled egg whites for breakfast.
At lunch try and enjoy vegetable meal options like afang, edikiakong, Efo Riro, if you opt for salad watch out for excessive amounts of salad dressing. Chicken suya from Lovitoz can be a good way to get a solid about of good protein down you if the option to cook isn’t there, be sure to remove the skin. An example of a balanced lunch in Bwari might be grilled/roast plantain, steamed/smoked/grilled fish/ Chicken Suya and Veg.
For dinner keep things light and high in protein, if you choose fish, grilled/stock/smoked is what you should be going for instead of fried. With beef, lamb and chicken ask for lean cuts without skin, it goes without saying that Kpomo and Shaki are off limits. If you enjoy swallow, that’s alright, try and limit consumption size to half a fist before 6 pm and load up on fresh vegetable soup like okra or bitter lead soup to get a real balance.
If you would like a tailored meal plan please click here
Make sure you constantly eating little portions, this aids a fast metabolic rate and it means you never get so hungry that you binge. There is a temptation in Bwari to buy ‘country rolls’, ‘meat pies’ and the likes at break times, whilst these may be nice treats to have, they should be enjoyed only once in a while. One ‘meat-pie’ can be an excess of 600 calories and a country roll? They tower towards 1000 calories, neither snack is filling. Try cutting up some oranges in the morning to take along to class or an apple, or if you live off campus pack yourself a nice healthy snack pack or buy a fruit salad from Lovitoz or even a shawarma (exclude the mayo, ask for lean chicken and lots of veg).
Drink lots of water, aside helping with bloating and fake hunger pangs (when you have eaten a lot and enough but you still think you are hungry but what you need is all), it will help with your skin. Bwari is extremely humid and dry, if your skin is used to temperate weather you will need to drink at least 4 bottles of 500ml water daily. We suggest that you stick to Nestle, Eva and Aquafina.
A caveat to drink water is you are likely to need the bathroom during lectures, the bathrooms, unfortunately, do not smell great but you’re only there for a moment, be sure to arm yourself with some wipes when you go and have hand sanitiser in your bag for when you return to your seat.